Getting Battle-Ready: More BM PvP notes

Hunter PvP in 4.0.1

This past weekend I finally felt ready to swallow some pride and go get my ass handed to me in some BGs. The result… I didn’t fare as bad as I thought I would. While I was by no means a “force” in the BGs, I didn’t feel like a punching bag either.

Although I’m still stumbling around trying to find my way, I feel like I’m headed in the right direction. The following are some tips and suggestions which I’d like to offer up, in hopes that they may help some of you overcome difficulties or trepidation. Albeit a humbling experience right now, competing in BGs is a great way to learn the 4.0.1 hunter and find out what your weaknesses are.

As I’ve mentioned, a lot of this info is subject to change in the coming weeks, but I’ll try to update as it does. In the meantime, these posts will be more like notes & progress reports, rather than guides.

My BM PvP Build in 4.0.1

Here’s the build I’m using: Gar’s 4.0.1 BM PvP Build

Blizz doesn’t give us much flexibility with the new 31 point talent trees, which means we have very few options when speccing. The upside to this is that it’s far less possible to create a “bad” spec these days. There are a couple of talents you may want to adjust more to your play-style and liking, but overall this is a pretty universally sound BM PvP build.

The only two talents I would consider messing with would be Spirit Bond and Hunter vs. Wild. Personally, I love both of these talents for PvP, not to mention the larger health pool provided by Hunter vs. Wild helps out with the size of the Spirit Bond ticks. As for where you could put those points… Improved Mend Pet would be the logical choice. I elected to go without it, but having the 25%-50% chance of DoT cleanse would be a benefit. Pets can get blown up pretty easily right now if you’re not careful.

4.0.1 BM PvP Glyphs

Prime BM PvP Glyphs

These are not set in stone, but here’s what I’ve decided to go with at the moment…

  • Arcane Shot – Harder hitting Arcanes – definitely not a bad idea.
  • Kill Command – Shaves a tiny bit of focus off the cost. Still on the fence about this one, but I like being economical with the focus.
  • Kill Shot – If your target’s still standing after Kill Shot, then they get to eat another one. Helps to give you the last word.

Major BM PvP Glyphs

  • Bestial Wrath – Lowers the cooldown on big red.
  • Deterrence – More opportunities for Deterrence, especially when combined with the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimaera talent.
  • Disengage – Pretty much a must-have glyph for hunter PvP. Also works well with the talent mentioned above.

Minor BM PvP Glyphs

  • Feign Death – A very important minor glyph.
  • Mend Pet – Insurance for pet happiness.
  • Scare Beast – Make those pesky Feral Druids run to the hills.

4.0.1 BM PvP Pets

Core Hound
The casting speed debuff provided by Lava Breath is awesome, but the Ancient Hysteria buff is downright incredible.

Devilsaurs provide the 5% crit buff, plus a 25% healing debuff. These things are PvP machines. What’s even better, the Monstrous Bite (25% healing debuff) is currently stacking with Widow Venom (25% healing debuff), providing us with a 50% healing debuff on our kill targets! Good stuff indeed.

Spirit Beast
My PvP companion of choice right now. Roar of Courage (155 agility & strength buff) + Spirit Mend (personal ghetto pocket-heals), makes for an ideal PvP sidekick. I also just love the fact that Spirit Beasts rock in 4.0.1!

Now… here’s the really cool part… Along with our fancy expanded stable, complete with 4 active pets (5 in cataclysm), we have a handy new Call Pet feature. The Call Pet feature allows us to swap out pets as often as we want, just so long as we’re not in combat. Because of this, we can do things like…

Start a BG with our Devilsaur, then swap him out for our Core Hound when we want the heroism/bloodlust boost. Once the buff’s been used, we can go back to using our Devilsaur’s healing debuff, or maybe we want to add some survivability… then we grab our Spirit Beast for the heal. Also, let’s say you need a heal, but there’s no healer in sight and you’re out of bandages or potions… no problem… just dismiss your current pet, whip out your Spirit Beast, cast Spirit Mend, dismiss him, then call your other pet.

We can also stack our pet buffs. For example, you could whip out your Spirit Beast, cast Roar of Courage on yourself (Spirit Mend too, if needed), Dismiss him, then bring out your Devilsaur, thus benefiting from the 155 agility (Roar of Courage) and 5% crit buffs – allowing for 45 seconds or so of BM ass-kickery!

In other words, we can really get creative with our pets’ new on-use abilities and buffs.

Improved Revive Pet 2.0

Let’s say your pet dies in the heat of battle, gimping you something fierce, but you manage to survive… Problem is, you only have a few seconds between now and when the next assault comes. We no longer have Improved Revive Pet, so how are you going to Revive your pet, heal him up and try to get him at full happiness for the next battle..? Well, you’re not… Revive Pet is a 10 second cast.

What you do is… cast Revive Pet for 1 second, interrupt it, then Call Pet #2, #3 or #4.

Reviving for a second or mounting up resets your Call Pet, enabling you to swap out pets even if your current pet’s dead. Basically, once your pet’s corpse has despawned, your free to grab another pet. If your pet dies, try Feigning Death, reviving/interrupt or mounting up, then calling another pet. Unless you’re being attacked, this works like a charm. In 1.5 seconds you have a fresh pet who’s combat ready. 😀 Later on in the battle, when you know there’s a break in the action, then you can go revive your pet and heal him up.

Mounting up is a good way to switch pets anyway, as it shaves .5 seconds off the time. Dismiss pet is a 2 second cast, where as a mount is only 1.5 seconds. Either way, Call Pet still must be performed out-of-combat, which means using a mount to do it is a good option.

Note: If your Call Pet macro isn’t working, it’s because you need to specify which slot, e.g., Call Pet 1. You can assign modifiers to bring out different pets.

This macro will call your various pets:

/cast [nopet] Call Pet 1
/cast [nopet][mod:shift] Call Pet 2
/cast [nopet][mod:alt] Call pet 3
/cast [nopet][mod:ctrl] Call Pet 4

This is the all-in-one macro that I’m still using, edited for 4.0.1:

/cast [modifier:shift] Revive Pet; [@pet,dead] Revive Pet; [nopet] Call Pet 1; Mend Pet

Charge and Dash Issues…

Right now there are issues with Charge and Dash. You can learn both of the spells, but after your pet is dismissed for whatever reason (e.g., death, pet swap, mounting up, …), Charge or Dash will disappear from your spell book. This is a huge pain in the ass, because as Beast Masters we need fast pets. Losing Charge means we have one less root and gap-closer, and without Dash our pets are slow as hell.

I’ve tried the three aforementioned BM pets, so I can tell you that Devilsaurs and Core Hounds both keep Charge, but lose Dash. Spirit Beasts lose Charge, but keep Dash. This should be fixed soon, but in the meantime, make sure to talent your BM PvP pets with Boar’s Speed. We gotta have that added speed in order to maintain pressure. If our pets aren’t in melee range, then we can’t use Kill Command and they can’t chomp away on our enemies.

Right now it’s looking like these three pets are your best bet for PvP companions, but I will be checking out other options in the next week or two. I have a Silithid and Chimaera in the stable, am on the hunt for Grubthor, and am excited about the possibility of bashing Shaman and Druids off of cliffs and bridges with a Rhino. 😀 All in good time.

38 thoughts on “Getting Battle-Ready: More BM PvP notes”

  1. Our builds are almost identicle, but instead of two points in Killing steak, I put two in Rapid killing for the 20% damage boost to Steady(and when it’s avalible Cobra)
    Other than that variation, they are exactly the same, I made the build from personal experience before I went and looked around so to see one so close to my own on a trusted website gmh 😛

  2. Some good patch news
    – Bug with exotics now fixed so dont lose talents
    – SOTA has completely changed. Demos are now much, much quicker. Its easy to win in under 2 minutes if defence is slacking. But they are subject to cc. So we can (and should) use our traps and other CCs, pets included, at every opportunity. With games often over in under 6 minutes this is also a good BG to farm honour points.

  3. One non exotic pet that is certainly worth a look is the croc. Its ankle snap plus conc shot glyph makes it easy as pie to keep folks at bay. Useful in most situations but especially to sic on any flag carriers to keep them slowed right down.

  4. Love Your site, never posted before but longtime lurker lol Im gonna try out your build tonite, currently just using a pve build i was given. Just thought I’d mention worms make pretty good pvp pets also, expecially in av. For example my worm tanked gav with just light heals from me and a druid, and tanked drek from half with 2towers up still after tank went down, havent got around to giving it a proper pvp build yet. Should check it out, plus Acid spit is nice for throwing out some extra damage on a target, and burrow is amazing if catch yourself in an area with alot of horde grouped up.

    • Oh also just glanced threw, but didnt see any mention of it but might have missed it. You can get all wrathful gear and offpieces without rating, except for the shoulders and teir2 weapons. Disregard what tooltips say, bliz didnt fix them so still displays rating needed. Been tearing up bgs over last week finally got my my 25k hks woot lol but have wrathful set(minus shoulders) and offset and just picked up the bow since dont raid much and was one from toc lol

  5. One other thing: judging by number of people at the arena vendor lot of folks know this but just in case.

    Honor points can now be used to purchase most wrath gear, despite the tool tip showing red/needing arena rating. Only exception is the shoulders.

  6. Thanks for the post Gar.. following your advice and inspiration been BMing BGs and having a real blast. Devilsaurs rock and my “le Beast” Core Hound makes a regular appearance to yell Ancient Hysteria.

    The ability to call different pets is a real winner, especially linked with the “Improved Revive 2.0”. With the latter I’m not bothering with heart of the phoenix for the time being.

    Got my share of bugs too natch.. most worrying is that le Beast is showing as a Level 1 pet.. its got the stats/talents for a level 79 but I cant get the last level as each time I level “up” I just get a message “your pet has reached level 1”. Just hoping Bliz fix for this wont be to be told go tame another..

  7. i ve been wondering as im gearing up my bm hunter with the wrathfull gear now but should i get Wrathful Gladiator’s Pike (polearm) or Wrathful Gladiator’s chopper x2 ( the 2 onehanded axes) ?

    • I personally am going for the 2 axes. 1 with a weapon chain enchant for the reduction in disarm, and the other with attack power. It works the best for me.

  8. I actually had a pet bug from 3.3 on my spider and I have I believe 64 points no matter what spec I am. I just checked it again today and the bug has lasted through the new patch. I was afraid to even use that pet in arena due to fear of saying I was using an exploit. I have no idea what caused the bug but it has lasted, only on that one spider though.

  9. How does the Spirit Beat heal work? From my tests on the PTR I had to manually target myself then hit the button. I put in a feature request to turn the heal into a smart heal. Will it auto cast now, or do I have to write up a macro for it?

    • its a pet power thats in your spellbook i just make a macro like
      /cast [ target=YOURNAME]SPirit Mend and voila extra heal when you need it every 20 secs ^^

  10. Hi guys.

    I have taken 2 points out of Killing Streak, and put them into Improved Mend Pet. The dispelling of lock dots has really saved my pets life on many occasion. Also I felt that Killing Spree didn’t proc enough, or it would proc when the battle is over and I have nobody to use it on. Or plain and simple I just didn’t have enough focus. Give it a try, you will see it works.

    • Good to know. I’d thought about going this route, but I’m still working with the spec I made on patch-day. Should I respec, I may very well try that. I’m also waiting to see how the resilience buff and other misc pet-bug-fixes affect things.

  11. One note on your PVP build. I previously stayed away from crit-activated abilities in PVP because resilience made crits rare. Now resilience doesn’t affect crits. So I’ve used a build nearly identical to yours, but taken 2 points out of Hunter vs. Wild and put them in Go for the Throat. That seems to work pretty well, and the PVE folks tell us that this ability is a HUGE dps gain for BM. You might want to try it out.

    • I didn’t spec GftT because it only procs off of auto-shots, feeling it would be a better talent at 81 when we get Aspect of the Fox. It may be worth it though.

      As I’d said, a lot of what I’m doing now may change, err… evolve is a better term, in the next few weeks.

      Thanks for that info Kazador. Your opinion is always appreciated. 🙂

      • I have some bad news and some maybe good news about this:

        Bad news: Aspect of the Fox has been painfully nerfed, and no longer allows autoshots on the run.

        Aspect of the Fox
        Instant 1 sec cooldown
        The hunter takes on the aspects of a fox, allowing you to shoot Steady Shot and Cobra Shot while moving and causing you to gain 2 Focus whenever you receive a melee attack.

        Napkin Math follows: The good news is that I ran some tests yesterday in BGs, and found that I was still able to get off around 100 autoshots in an average BG (WSG, AB, EotS). 60% or so of those crit, so that’s 60*10 focus = 600 focus generated for my pet over the course of the battle, allowing 600/25 = 24 more special attacks, for around 4K damage each. So close to 100K damage increase over the course of the BG (of the perhaps 800K overall damage I do in the entire BG). So, a substantial damage increase for 2 points.

        That said, we’re comparing apples to oranges. Stamina makes you live longer. Dying sucks. BGs are really just for fun, so if you’d like to die less, Stamina is the way to go. But killing things is fun, so if you’d like to kill things more, GftT is the way to go. It’s really just personal preference for now.

        I suppose when we get to rated BGs we’ll need to figure out how beneficial to your team it is to sacrifice DPS talents in order to survive longer, but for now it’s not that critical.

  12. Spirit Beasts are great as a pocket healer, and my favorite for random BGs. Eventually when we get to rated BGs and you have some good healers on your team, I think the Silithid may be the best option for the web and the ability to keep the Stamina bonus up on your team all the time. We’ll see.
    Also, I’ve had zero luck getting the Chimera’s special AOE ability to be of any use. How about you?

  13. In your new ‘all-in-one’ pet macro, what can be done about pet number? Does the pet you currently have become pet 1? I ask only because sometimes I’m pet-less, but try to call a different pet only for the game to say “you must dismiss your current pet” (after mounting/zoning, etc).

  14. I need to bust out my spirit beast it seems. I’ve been using the silithid, Qiraji fortitude is pretty awesome for PVP as well with the extra stam.

  15. Thanks for the improved Call Pet macro, that will help a bunch swapping them out. Gar you also want to make me try PvP, i usually avoid it but you make it sound fun. You truly are the wind beneath my wings..

  16. Great article, but i think Boar’s Speed is buged as well, there is no difference in my pets speed when i put talents in to it and when there is no talents in it.other people are also saying it is buged on hunter forums.

    But with so many pet bugs, dash/charge , the fact that resilience doesnt stack with our pets,kill command not scaling with mastery, i dont know why blizz hasnt made a blue post about all this.

    • Interesting… Boar’s Speed seemed like it was working when I was sending my pet in on the target dummy, but it may be another case of it disappearing from the spell book. I’ve been testing to see if I notice any difference in my pet’s speed now, and it seems like they are slow. 🙁

      They’ve gotta fix this stuff. :-\

  17. I took 1 point in Improved Mend Pet myself, it’s godly. Even 1 point is enough to boost your heals on an L75+ pet to over 2.4k per tick, and combined with the Mend Pet Glyph, it’s just incredible.

    I just went into an Alterac Valley match yesterday and practically dominated. Came 5th on the boards at the end for damage and points, but I had the most HKs at 188.

    I have all three devilsaur spawns from Un’Goro Crater in my active menagerie and hope to add Krush to my stable.

    The only downside to BM hunter now is that pets are too normalized, but at least we won’t run into the WotLK situation anymore where we are stuck with a wolf and all other pets are inferior.

    Have you noticed with your pets that some pets get more talent points available at L80 than others, even as a BM? Not sure if it’s a bug or not, but my devilsaurs are sitting at 22 points while my “normal” pets are sitting at 18 or 19 still.

    • Hi Malkavier,

      Unless I missed something new, Improved Mend Pet only has a chance to cleanse – it doesn’t buff the actual heal itself.

      As far as the pet talent points… very interesting. All of mine have 20 points available; no more, no less. Sounds like another bug. Which Devilsaur(s) do you have?

      • Gar, I think what is going on is that when one of your pet’s abilities mysteriously disappears from the spellbook, you’ll find you have gained an extra talent point. My Spirit Beasts, for example, both lost Charge from their spellbook, but then their talent points said that they had one unspent point (it still shows the point in Charge). Check your pets talent trees once you’ve lost one of those abilities from the pet spellbook, and I think you’ll find that it says you have a new talent point available (for a total of 21). I haven’t had it get me to 22 points yet though!


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